PUMPKIN CRANBERRY BARS

Submitted by: Brigitte Renaud

Ingredients


1 cup (100 grams) pecans

2 cups (280 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) dried cranberries

Frosting: (Optional)

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese

Sugar to taste










Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven, cool completely and then coarsely chop. Set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and butter and flour an 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground ginger, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2 - 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Beat in the pumpkin puree until incorporated (the batter will look curdled at this point). Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing only until combined. Stir in the chopped toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bars comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into 9 - 3 inch bars.

Frosting: In a bowl beat the whipping cream and mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. Add sugar to taste. Spoon a dollop of cream on top of each bar.


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